Despite the rather obvious nature of the copycat animation, only eight of the sixty-nine subjects detected the mimicry (and those mostly because they made a strange movement and then saw the agent making the same unusual motion). The remaining students liked the mimicking agent more than the recorded agent, and rated the former as being friendlier as well as more interesting, honest, and persuasive. They also paid better attention to the copycat presenter and found the mimicker to be more persuasive. In the final analysis, just adding mimicry made the sales pitch 20 percent more effective.
3) Get them talking about what interests them.
People who have trouble with conversation always say the same thing: “But what do I talk about?”
Wrong question. The right question is “How do I get them talking about what they’re interested in?“
The authors show that even when flattery by marketing agents is accompanied by an obvious ulterior motive that leads targets to discount the proffered compliments, the initial favorable reaction (the implicit attitude) continues to coexist with the discounted evaluation (the explicit attitude). Furthermore, the implicit attitude has more influential consequences than the explicit attitude, highlighting the possible subtle impact of flattery even when a person has consciously corrected for it.
The trick, according to Finkel, Eastwick, and Saigal, is to avoid extremes in autonomy. Accept your date’s pass, redirect it slightly, and then return the ball— all with warmth and genuine interest in his or her responses.
This acceptance and redirection is the push and pull that creates smoothness.